Friday, December 13, 2013
49ers' starting offense may finally be ready
By Bill Williamson
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – It is looking more likely that the San Francisco 49ers will enjoy a first for the 2013 season – they may have all 11 offensive starters healthy enough to play Sunday at Tampa Bay.
All the 49ers need is for left guard Mike Iupati to stay on course to play. He has missed the past three games with a sprained knee, and this week has been limited in practice. Although he will likely be listed Friday as questionable, Iupati has a strong chance to play Sunday.
San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman was well aware that the 49ers haven’t had all 11 starters on the field together.
“You can’t blink,” he said. “It’s not ideal, but you just have to deal with it.”
At least, the 49ers -- who saw all 53 players practice Thursday -- are getting healthy at the right time.
“That’s how I look at it,” Roman said.
The primary reason the 49ers have been without their starting 11 is because star receiver Michael Crabtree missed the first 11 games of because of an Achilles injury. He has been limited this week with an ankle injury, an injury Roman said is unrelated to the Achilles. Crabtree looked fine during the time the media watched practice Thursday.
Crabtree is averaging 47 snaps in his two games this season; last season he averaged 40 snaps a game. Still, Tampa Bay cornerback Darrelle Revis told reporters this week it is clear Crabtree is still working his way back.
“Sometimes you can kind of see him favoring that Achilles, and I don't even know which Achilles it is, but you can kind of see him hobbling around out there, here and there on plays,” Revis said.
At this point, the 49ers will take anything they can get from Crabtree and the other starters.